On page 3A of the Sunday Dec 6th edition of the Journal News is a lovely article about the White Plains Ridgeway Elementary school’s recycling program.
Akiko Matsuda, the reporter that covers environmental issues for the Journal News in Westchester County contacted We Future Cycle in August to find out more about the program. We had long conversations covering the beginnings, the challenges and the successes. Akiko was hooked and ready to see the program in action.
Schools don’t easily admit reporters but Ridgeway Elementary School is so proud of its lunchroom that they were happy to share the good news. Assistant Principal James Graziano is an enthusiastic supporter of the program and together with his fabulous head custodian Pedro Molino showed off his kids with a proud smile.
We Future Cycle is excited that this news coverage has raised awareness in the community that other school districts contacted us to find out more about the program. Thank you Akiko and thank you Ridgeway students for showing off that you can make a difference.
Enid Blount Press joined WeFutureCycle to help be part of the solution of recycling and composting in the schools in 2015.
Enid is a mom and a professional musician.
On the day her 2nd Grade daughter came home, distraught that the school had brought back Styrofoam trays in the lunchroom, she decided to call the school system and ask what their plan was for bringing back compostable trays. Their response was that the cardboard trays would be back 5 months later, in the fall. Joining Anna Giordano, who was behind getting the Styrofoam out of the schools, was her next step.
Enid now helps in the New Rochelle school system as well as other schools with the composting and recycling in the lunchrooms. Enid is “thrilled to help tackle the waste” and provide a better environmental education for our community along with her colleagues.
We Future Cycle is extremely proud to have Enid. She immediately jumped into action by joining the implementation at the White Plains Church St Elementary School.
Food waste is around 40% of all waste from households, it is made up of mainly water, thus it is heavy. Garbage cost is calculated by weight. So all this water is costing the tax payer dearly.
Westchester’s garbage is being collected by the municipalities, brought to one of the several transfer stations within the county and from there it is transported in big trucks to the incinerator in Peekskill.
So basically, we are using fossil fuels (garbage trucks get about 2.6 miles per gallon of diesel fuel) to truck water 50 miles north?
The far better solution would be to sort out all that water laden food waste and actually compost it. Combine food waste with yard waste and nature will give us black gold, aka compost.
The absolute best way is to do it right at home. Have a little bin next to your sink and sort out all your food waste (no bones or meats though, home composters can’t handle that, commercial ones can)
And place that food waste in a ratio of 1 food waste to 3 leaves or woodchips into a composter. It can be a home made one,
or a commercially available one like these. And the rest is done by mother nature. Turning the mixture once in a while will introduce oxygen and thus help the bacteria to do a more efficient job.
A few weeks later you will have lovely compost that can be used in your garden.
Most people are afraid that composting will be smelly or attract rodents. With all in life, if it is done right, there is none of that.
On March 31, 2014, I was so proud to present the School Lunch Recycling Program to the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Committee for Energy and Environment.
Legislator Catherine Parker invited Anne Jeffe Holmes, Director of Programming at the Greenburgh Nature Center, Jean Bonhatal from the Cornell Waste Management Institute and myself, Anna Giordano, to share programs in place in Westchester working towards the final frontier of Food Waste Management.
Here is the video coverage of the event.
The Legislators were very interested and assured us that they will carefully look at how they can create infrastructure in Westchester to facilitate local Food waste management.
Right now, only Suburban Carting offers commercial food waste hauling to an out-of-county facility.
But food waste is black gold and we really need to keep it in Westchester to benefit from it.